Going off last week’s vague mentions from Jim Ross during the main event match, we can assume that both Bray Wyatt and Paige will be in action tonight on WWE NXT 11/21/12. Of course, that remains to be seen since last week’s advertised main event didn’t exactly happen as previously advertised. That said, maybe tonight is the night that Jinder gets his title shot with Seth Rollins – but probably not. Let’s get to the recap!
WWE NXT 11/21/12 Recap
WWE. Then. Now. Forever. Cold open on “earlier today”, when Tom Phillips is backstage interviewing Kassius Ohno about tonight’s “rubber match” between Ohno and Trent Barreta. Ohno cuts Phillips off and says Trent only won because of Richie Steamboat and tonight Ohno will give Barreta the “Steamboat treatment” and end his career. Just then, Ohno has a premonition. “Trenty” is going to learn how dangerous, cruel, and unusual Ohno is. On top of that? Ohno will make sure that Barreta experiences more pain than he’s ever felt in his life. To put it simply, after tonight, Trent Barreta will never be the same.
Standard opening credits and we’re taped from Full Sail. Tony Dawson (formerly Luftman just seven days ago) welcomes us to the show. He’s joined by Jim “I don’t just call the main event of these shows all of a sudden… for reasons” Ross.
Alicia Fox’s music hits and she’s out. Paige’s music hits and she’s out next. Finally a women’s match that might not suck. (Please don’t suck).
Match #1: Alicia Fox vs. Paige
Well, it doesn’t “suck” but it’s not super great either. Things are going fine until Fox botches a body slam somehow and there is a noticeable edit. The crowd is rather unforgiving but they’re really only there to see Paige in this match – so sorry, Fox. Alicia recovers with the bridged Northern Lights suplex, but the back half of the match is all Paige. After countering a tilt-a-whirl backbreaker into a cross body, Paige hits the Paige Turner on Fox and picks up the win.
Verdict: Thumbs In The Middle – Not the best match I’ve seen from either woman, but definitely a cut above what the NXT women’s division has been up until this point. Still a way to go until they’re stealing the show ever week.
Later tonight? Trent Barreta vs. Kassius Ohno!
Up next? Big E Langston vs. Camacho.
After no break, Camacho (w/ footage of his “drive by attack” on Big E last week) is out. Big E’s music hits and he’s out next. Full Sail chants “5” at Big E as he heads to the ring.
Match #2: Big E Langston vs. Camacho
Well, this is the squash match Big E has been having at NXT – tweaked ever so slightly to let Camacho get in the most modest amount of offense. But yeah, essentially this is another Big E squash and he looks super impressive. The finish is a Big Ending and a 3 count – even though Big E asks for the 5 count.
Verdict: Thumbs Up – Unstoppable monster Big E is very charismatic and I’m totally on board.
Post-match? 2 more Big Endings and 2 self-counted 5 counts from Big E on Camacho.
Next, Tony tells us there is a “commotion” backstage. Cameras get back there and we see Trent Barreta on the ground and refs checking on him. The camera pans out to show Leo Kruger hiding behind a wall smiling.
After no break, Tom Phillips is backstage. Tom tells us he spoke to “NXT doctors” and it’s possible that Trent won’t be cleared for the main event tonight.
Back in the arena, Bronson’s dramatic entrance hits and he’s out. Already in the ring? Nick Rogers.
Match #3: Bronson vs. Nick Rogers
Bronson uses a bunch of strikes, yells at Rogers, and works his knee and ankle over. Eventually, Bronson drops Rogers and locks on a heel hook submission. Rogers immediately taps out.
Verdict: Thumbs Down – The same basic concept they’re doing with Big E but I don’t feel this one at all and am totally on board with Big E.
Post-match, Bronson won’t break the heel hook. More yelling, Bronson breaks the hold, and more yelling. In case you didn’t get it yet, Bronson yells at his opponent.
Later tonight? Trent Barreta vs. Kassius Ohno?
Back from break, Mike “Tyler Breeze” Dalton is out. Bray Wyatt’s music hits, faintly, and he’s out to rant and rave over his music. Ugh. There’s a rocking chair on the stage. Bray eventually sits in the chair and Luke Harper wanders out.
Match #4: Mike Dalton vs. Luke Harper (w/ Bray Wyatt)
So, Dalton looks enough like Dolph Ziggler at this point in his career that Full Sail chants “Let’s Go Ziggler” at him. We get essentially another squash match here as Harper makes easy work out of Dalton. Mike’s only real offense comes when Harper gets distracted by constantly turning to look up at the stage to make eye contact with Bray. Other than that, all Harper – all night long. After a discus clothesline, Harper puts Dalton away with a Sidewalk Slam.
Verdict: Thumbs Up – Annoying entrance ranting aside, I’m on board with the Wyatt stuff and it’s Luke Harper vs. Tyler Breeze so obligatory “Thumbs Up” from this guy.
Post-match, Harper kneels before Bray – who once again rants. This is notable for what I believe to be the first time on NXT we hear Bray refer to himself as “The Eater of Worlds”.
Meanwhile, Tom attempts to interview Seth Rollins “earlier today”. Seth is immediately attacked from behind by Jinder Mahal. It doesn’t really go in Jinder’s favor as Seth ground and pounds Mahal for a while until refs break it all up. Jinder probably merely wants his advertised title match from a few weeks back. Give the guy a break!
Up next? The main event? Perhaps? Maybe.
Back from break, Ohno’s music hits and he’s out. Ohno gets a mic, says he’s ready to tear Trent Barreta to pieces – but where’s Trent? Ohno knows that Trent had a “mishap” backstage and thus Ohno has no opponent tonight. He asks the ref to ring the bell, count to 10, and declare Ohno the winner. This causes Dusty Rhodes’ music to hit.
Dusty is out and tells Ohno that he’ll have to answer to Dusty for his potential role in Trent’s backstage attack. However, Ohno does have a match tonight and Dusty has found Ohno “a match that might match for him”. Cue Steamboat’s music and Richie heads out.
Match #5: Kassius Ohno vs. Richie Steamboat
Not bad, considering this wasn’t the main event they’d hyped up for half of the episode. The Steamboat / Ohno feud has enough legs I was still interested in seeing them go one more time. It’s your standard “strikes and chops” stuff since both guys have a similar offensive game plan. Steamboat uses his athleticism to counter some of Ohno’s offense into pinning predicaments. I’d have liked to see more of the agility out of Ohno I’ve come to love by him – but we do get to see him skin the cat. Speaking of Steamboat and counters, Richie counters a Rolling Elbow into a Slingblade to put Ohno away for three and pick up the win.
Verdict: Thumbs Up – Not sure if the Trent scratch from the match is injury related or to randomly set up something between him and Kruger. Either way, this substitute main event wasn’t a terrible replacement match.
We go off the air on Steamboat heading to the back.
Next week? Team Hell No invades NXT. Back to the main roster stuff, I suppose.